Plot To Kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Stopped
At least 13 people were arrested in Michigan late Wednesday after the FBI says it stopped a plot to overthrow the government and kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. A federal affidavit filed Thursday detailed the alleged plot. The court filing also alleges the conspirators twice conducted surveillance at Whitmer's vacation home and discussed kidnapping her to a remote location in Wisconsin to stand "trial" for treason before the Nov. 3 election.
In a news conference on Thursday afternoon, US Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Andrew Burge said the FBI and Michigan State Police arrested 6 persons. The six suspects are linked to a group called the Wolverine Watchmen.
- Adam Fox
- Barry Croft
- Ty Garbin
- Kaleb Franks
- Daniel Harris
- Brandon Casarta.
All are from Michigan except for Croft, who is a resident of Delaware.
Burge says they all conspired to kidnap Governor Whitmer from her northern Michigan vacation home, and conducted surveillance there on two occasions. Burge says that under Federal Law, they could serve up to life in prison. He says confidential informants led police to uncover the conspiracy, and that they were using sophisticated and encrypted communications methods. Burge says that Fox and Croft discussed setting off explosives to divert police from the area of the home. He says they had a Taser and had detonated a bomb with shrapnel to test its anti-personnel capabilities.
Also, Attorney General Dana Nessel announced charges against at least seven more people under Michigan’s Anti-Terrorism Act as search warrants were executed in 20 different cities or townships in Michigan.
Those currently facing charges are:
- Paul Beller, 21 of Milford
- Sean Fix, 38 of Belleville
- Eric Molitor, 36 of Cadillac
- Michael Null, 38 of Plainwell
- William Null, 38 Shelbyville
- Pete Musico, 42 of Munith
- Joseph Morrison, 42 of Munith
Nessel thanked hundreds of law enforcement personnel who worked across state lines in the investigation and arrests.
The FBI began an investigation earlier this year after learning thru social media that a plot might be in the works. "Several members talked about murdering 'tyrants' or 'taking' a sitting governor," an FBI agent wrote in the affidavit. “At the time, the FBI interviewed a member of the militia group who was concerned about the group’s plans to target and kill police officers, and that person agreed to become a confidential source.”
"A threat against our Governor is a threat against us all," Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, tweeted Wednesday afternoon. "We condemn those who plotted against her and our government. They are not patriots. There is no honor in their actions. They are criminals and traitors, and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
US Attorney Burge says the investigation is continuing.